40% women commuters suffer or witness harassment: survey


Most respondents on Virar-Dahanu section find washrooms not well-maintained

Nearly 45% of women commuters between Virar and Dahanu stations have either been a victim of harassment or a witness to it, according to a gender survey commissioned by the Mumbai Rail Vikas Corporation (MRVC). The study found that four out of 10 women commuters between Neral and Karjat stations have also reported facing harassment.

Few complaints filed

According to the survey, most women commuters do not lodge complaints with the Railways or the police and only 50% of women are aware of the railway helpline. On the Neral-Karjat section, only 13% of respondents admitted using the women safety helpline, while the figure was 57% for women commuters on the Virar-Dahanu section.

Market Search, an independent agency, carried out the survey by conducting face-to-face interviews with 1,009 women. Among them, 867 lived on the Virar-Dahanu section on the Western Railway and 142 on the Neral- Karjat section on the Central Railway. One of the objectives of the survey was to provide baseline data to measure the impact of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank’s (AIIB) funding of selected components of the Mumbai Urban Transport Project 3. The MRVC has sought a loan of $500 million from the AIIB and most of it is expected to be spent on the additional two lines between Virar and Dahanu and the new corridor between Karjat and Panvel.

Unhappy with amenities

According to the survey, most women commuters were unhappy with the amenities set up at stations. Nearly 84% of respondents on the Virar-Dahanu section said washrooms were not well-maintained. However, on the Neral-Karjat section, 55% of respondents found the washrooms to be quite hygienic. Nearly 96% of respondents on the Neral-Karjat section and around 86% on the Virar-Dahanu section said drinking water at stations was not fit for consumption.

The survey also highlighted the lack of nursing homes on the Neral-Karjat section. Only Karjat station has the facility and no station on the Virar-Dahanu section, except Boisar, has the facility. On the Virar-Dahanu section, 60% of women commuters said the nursing rooms lacked privacy, while 37% found the facilities to be adequate.

‘Not final report’

An MRVC spokesperson said, “The survey has been conducted through a consultancy. The report is preliminary/primary in nature. It requires further study taking various parameters into consideration before coming to any conclusion or submitting a final report.”

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Printable version | Dec 15, 2019 5:51:56 PM |

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